RIO DE JANEIRO -- British Open champion Henrik Stenson is close enough to think about adding an Olympic gold medal to his silver claret jug.It just required a long and wild route to get himself into contention on Friday.Marcus Fraser of Australia got off to a quick start, stretched his lead to four shots at one point and wound up with a 2-under 69 for the 36-hole lead in the first Olympic golf competition since 1904. He had a one-shot lead over Thomas Pieters of Belgium, a former NCAA champion who closed with three straight birdies.Still, it was the sight of Stenson on the leaderboard that was so hard to ignore.Only a month ago, the 40-year-old Swede won his first major and got his name on the claret jug at Royal Troon with the lowest score in major championship history. On Friday, he had a 68 to go into the weekend at Olympic Golf Course just two shots behind and in the final group.But this was hardly a masterpiece.In the wind and a hard rain, Stenson had to hit 4-wood to reach the green on the second hole and made a 60-foot birdie putt. He hit into the water on the next hole and still had a full 4-wood just to reach the front part of the green. Stenson made a par putt from 108 feet.Youre just standing there, praying for a two-putt bogey. Before I know it, it found the bottom of the cup, Stenson said. Thats the longest putt Ive made in my career. First of all, its hard to get a putt that long on any green in the world.He followed by duffing a tee shot and making bogey, and it was a relief to play what he called ordinary golf until another wild finish.Stenson had a three-putt bogey, followed by two birdies, and then a tee shot he missed so badly that it came up 30 yards short and into a bunker for a bogey on the par-3 17th. He finished his round with a delicate pitch from a drop area, but only after his caddie had to ask Brazilian fans in the bleachers around the 18th green to move 20 feet because their shadows were dancing around his golf ball.Three under is not a bad score out there, especially not with that first five or six holes in those conditions, Stenson said. All in all, happy with that. I didnt play as solid as I did yesterday, but were still in the race and still in good position halfway through the tournament.None of these players grew up dreaming about an Olympic medal because golf hasnt been part of the games in 112 years. For someone like Stenson, the highest-ranked player in the 60-man field, consider this getting through the preliminary heats in a traditional Olympic sport.Then again, not even he knows what to expect out of his game. No other Olympic sport has so many contenders.Its not like some of the other sports where if you jump a certain distance or swim at a certain time, you can pretty much figure out who is going to win and finish second and third, Stenson said earlier this week. Ours is a bit more down to the form for the week and on any given day.At the halfway point, Olympic golf was starting to take shape.Fraser was at 10-under 132 -- another day, another Olympic record. Of course, considering how long the sport has been absent, new marks get set every day. The Australian caught only a little of the nasty weather, and it didnt last long before the sun came out. Fraser built a four-shot lead until dropping two shots, including the reachable par-4 16th when it took two chips to reach the green.Playing with Stenson on Saturday could be intimidating, through Fraser saw it a different way.Any time you play with Stenson on the weekend, you know youre doing something right.Pieters made up a lot of ground in a hurry by driving just through the green on the 16th for a two-putt birdie from 75 feet, holing a 15-foot birdie on the 17th and then two-putting from just off the green on the par-5 18th.Justin Rose of Britain and Gregory Bourdy of France each shot 69 and were four shots behind.The Americans, the only country with four players, were still lingering. Matt Kuchar had a 70 and was seven shots behind, following by Bubba Watson (67) at 2-under 140 and Patrick Reed (69) nine shots back.Rickie Fowler was still near the bottom. Even with actor Matthew McConaughey following along, Fowler made three bogeys on the back nine and had to settle for a 71, leaving him 14 shots out of the lead. Barring a low round Saturday, he likely will leave Rio with plenty of selfies, just no medals. Diontae Johnson Steelers Jersey . -- The St. Johns IceCaps weathered a wild first period with the help of goaltender Jussi Olkinuora, before finding offensive inroads in the second. Devin Bush Jersey . -- Yogi Ferrell orchestrates pretty much everything in Indianas offence. http://www.steelerspronfl.com/Youth-Rocky-Bleier-Elite-Jersey/ . -- If this was Aaron Gordons final home game at Arizona, and it almost certainly was, then he went out in style. Diontae Johnson Womens Jersey . It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home. Durant scored 32 points and the Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. Jerome Bettis Steelers Jersey . LUCIE, Fla. PITTSBURGH -- Plenty of the numbers from Pittsburghs breezy 99-80 victory over Gardner-Webb looked pretty.And none of them mattered to coach Kevin Stallings. Sure shooting 54 percent and never being challenged on Monday night was nice, especially three days after needing double-overtime to hold off Eastern Michigan in Stallings coaching debut with the Panthers. Yet Stallings is more concerned about whether his team is ready for a far sterner test on Thursday against SMU at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Classic.You look at our defensive numbers, they were indicative of a team that was not really wired into play, he said. Thats my fault. Thats my job.Cameron Johnson scored 18 points and made all four of his 3-point attempts for Pitt (2-0). Michael Young put up 18 points and seven rebounds in 15 minutes after being held out of the starting lineup for only the second time in his career due to a minor violation of team rules. Sheldon Jeter added 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.Still, the Panthers led the Runnin Bulldogs trade baskets early in the first half and for long stretches in the second. Stallings wonders if his players are getting a little too caught up in the free-flowing offense Stallings brought with him from Vanderbilt.Maybe Ive sent the wrong message about tempo and offense and things like that, Stallings said. Were not ready to beat anybody thats equivalent to us in terms of talent because we dont sustain any type of defensive intensity.At one point in the first half, Stallings pulled the entire starting five off the floor in frustration.I think he just wanted more effort and energy, Johnson said. He cited a lack of focus for that.Not that much was required over the final 30 minutes after a 10-0 burst that included a pair of 3-pointers by Johnsoon to give the Panthers a 30-14 lead that was never threatened.ddddddddddddRUNNIN WITH THE PANTHERSLaQuincy Rideau finished with a career-high 23 points for Gardner-Webb (0-2) while adding eight rebounds and six assists. David Efianayi scored 20 points and Liam OReilly chipped in 14. The Runnin Bulldogs spread the floor to provide Rideau with room to slice his 6-foot-1 frame through the lane.I felt there was little more space where maybe we could attack the paint off the dribble, Gardner-Webb coach Tim Craft said. The problem is we werent converting. Some of the finishes were a little wild.BIG MAN DEBUTPitt junior Rozelle Nix made his long-awaited debut after missing last season with a foot injury. The 6-foot-11, 300-pound Nix entered with just over 4 minutes left and finished with four rebounds and on emphatic block on Gardner-Webbs DJ Laster that sent Nixs teammates erupting off the bench.He got me once like that once, Jeter said. Im not ashamed to admit it. Im not afraid to admit it.BIG PICTUREGardner-Webb: After managing just 44 points in a lackluster loss to SMU in the opener last week, Gardner-Webb was happy to try and keep pace with Pitt in what Craft called a learning experience for a young team that will rely on Rideau and Efianayi -- both sophomores -- to carry some of the scoring load.Pitt: Despite the defensive issues, the Panthers seem to have quickly embraced what Stallings wants to do on the other end of the floor. The Panthers made 13 of 26 3-pointers and finished with 29 assists on 35 field goals.UP NEXTGardner-Webb: plays Eastern Michigan in Indianapolis on Friday.Pitt: faces SMU on Thursday at Madison Square Garden. ' ' '